The Future History of the Arctic
How Climate, Resources and Geopolitics are Reshaping the North, and Why it Matters to the World
Vintage Books 2010
New Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Russian and Eurasian StudiesNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network May 23, 2011 Nicholas Walton
I don’t know how many young boys develop a fascination with the world from having a map of the world hung above their beds, but this certainly fits in with the experiences of both Charles Emmerson and myself. Charles’ interest in the Arctic was born from a childhood of staring at those strange names fringing the Arctic Ocean – Novaya Zemlya, Svalbad, Murmansk and Baffin Bay. Look at the far North from a pole-centric map and the whole geography of the Arctic starts to make sense.
Charles’ book, The Future History of the Arctic (Vintage Books, 2010) takes in the entire history and geography of the Arctic in a broad sweep – from the Norwegian explorers and the Alaskan purchase to the past and future hardships of Iceland and the Soviet dreams of expansion and riches. Now, of course, climate change is altering the very geography of the place. But how? The best word that I have for the book is ‘fascinating’. It is a rich subject and this is an excellent guide to a place that is increasing in economic, geopolitical and strategic significance. I thoroughly recommend getting hold of a copy – but first, enjoy the interview.